Huffpost UK uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Carla Buzasi Headshot

The Week That Was: Teen Dream

Posted: Updated:
DALOISIO
Getty Images

The hyperbolic headlines hardly did the story justice: '17-year-old Brit sells app to internet giant, makes millions'. The reactions, however, were pretty uniform, at least in my circles. Something along the lines of, "Wahhhh, what have I been doing with my life? Why isn't someone paying me £19million for my genius thoughts?"

Plans for righting that wrong aren't getting off to a particularly good start this Easter weekend, with one less hour in which to brainstorm Apple chart-busting apps, and all the others dedicated to hot-cross-bun eating and, if the sleet pauses, potentially a little gentle elbow-hockey to get a view of the Boat Race.

Aforementioned 17-year-old whizz kid, Nick D'Aloisio, whose Summly app was snapped up by Yahoo! for a reported cool $30million this week, probably isn't all that worried about raisin-studded baked goods and grad students sloshing about on the river. One imagines he's too busy jetting between TV interviews and first-class, trans-Atlantic flights.

To add insult to injury, he just seems so, well, nice. Witness this Guardian interview, in which Nick says he might buy some clothes or maybe a new computer with his new-found millions, but what he'd really like to do is invest in other small companies. He just needs to persuade his mum to open up the bank balance, as she's the one holding the purse strings. (He's only got about £40 on his debit card). Sensible Mum.

Read a little deeper into the overnight success, and discover a teenager hell bent on world domination (and not in a Kim Jong-un manner). He was just 12 when the Apple App Store was first announced, and he was quizzing Apple store assistants on how to create an app before even they'd been briefed on the how-tos and coding. A self-taught developer, Summly isn't the first of Nick's inventions, although whether Yahoo! would have paid quite as much for the one which looked like wood grain, and made a sound like knocking on wood when you clicked the screen is somewhat debatable.

Still, we've all got to start somewhere, and if Coding for Dummies is where Nick learnt the basics, I'd suggest Michael Gove gets it on the curriculum quick-smart. Erase that, I'd get Nick himself on the curriculum.

With a triple-dip recession on the horizon, Kim Kardashian the woman most little girls want to grow up to be and recent graduates still struggling to find full-time employment, shining the spotlight on the country's brightest start-ups and entrepreneurs seems such an obvious idea. Even the current government might chance upon it.

Cheers, Nick. We're toasting your success, and saving you a glass of bubbly for when you're old enough to drink it.

Around the Web

Summly (Summly) on Twitter

Summly creator Nick D'Aloisio: 'I try to maintain a level of ...

Yahoo spends 'millions' on UK teen Nick D'Aloisio's Summly ... - BBC

British teen sells Summly app for millions - Telegraph

Summly app created by British teenager is bought by internet giant ...

UK teen's Summly app bought for 'millions', pulled from Store | CNET ...

Presented By Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky